Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever ONLY

A cleft palate is a birth defect whereby a hole (cleft) in the roof of the mouth (palate) develops in a puppy during gestation. Puppies born with cleft palate can experience difficulty nursing which will greatly increase their risk of developing aspiration pneumonia – a serious life threatening condition. nsdtrThere are multiple genetic causes of cleft palate within the NSDTR breed; however, the most common form has been identified as CP1.

The mutation test we have developed identifies carriers of CP1 within the NSDTR breed. It does not apply to any breed other than the NSDTR. If you have a puppy of a different breed with cleft palate and you wish to participate in the identification of the gene(s) responsible please contact the Bannasch Laboratory at the University of California at Davis (ztwolf@ucdavis.edu).

Discovery

Scientists from the Bannasch Laboratory at the University of California, Davis have discovered the genetic cause of ONE FORM of cleft palate in the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. Dogs with this form of cleft palate have a large insertion into a gene known to affect the proper development of the palate. This mutation is not present in any other breed based on testing conducted on over 300 individual animals of over 80 different dog breeds.

The Mode of Inheritance

Cleft Palate caused by CP1 is a simple autosomal recessive disease meaning that an affected puppy has inherited one mutant copy of the gene from each parent.

The Test Results

CP1 N/N: This dog is homozygous N/N, with two normal copies of CP1. This dog can only transmit the normal gene to its offspring. This dog will not produce puppies with cleft palate caused by the CP1 mutation. In the NSDTR there are other inherited forms of cleft palate. This test does not give any information about those other forms of cleft palate.
CP1 N/A: This dog is heterozygous CP1/N, with one mutated (abnormal) copy of the gene and one normal copy of the gene, and is classified as a Carrier. This dog can transmit the abnormal copy of the gene to its puppies, and therefore, if bred to another carrier of CP1, can produce puppies with cleft palate.
CP1 A/A: This dog has two mutant (abnormal) copies of CP1. No dogs have ever been identified that were homozygous for CP1 that did not have cleft palates in over 500 dogs tested. We offer testing of puppies with cleft palate at no cost in order to determine if the puppy has the CP1 form of cleft or another form. Please contact Zena Wolf for more information at ztwolf@ucdavis.edu. These tests will be performed on a research basis.

NOTE: In order to keep the cost of this test low, the test will be run in batches of 48 which could affect the turnaround time for results.

Counseling

CP1 is an inherited autosomal recessive disease. Animals that have only one mutant copy of CP1 (N/A) are normal but they are carriers of the disease. When two carriers are bred to each other the resulting puppies can be affected. At the time that this test was released, approximately 15% of Tollers were carriers of CP1 (N/A); however, the number of carriers can change with each generation.

To date we have received 29 samples from North American NSDTR puppies with cleft palate, 18 of which had two mutant (CP1 A/A) copies of CP1. Dogs that are carriers of CP1 (N/A) are completely normal and they can be safely bred to dogs that are non carriers of CP1 (N/N) in order to maintain diversity within the breed and to select for other positive attributes in carrier dogs. Puppies affected with cleft palate will be tested at no charge. Please contact Zena Wolf for more details (ztwolf@ucdavis.edu).

Breeder Guidelines

Owners with dogs testing as Carriers (CP1 N/A) should understand that their dogs can produce puppies with cleft palate if bred to other carriers. In addition, all NSDTR breeders should understand that this test is specific for the mutation identified to cause the CP1 form of cleft palate. At the time that this test was released, approximately 15% of Tollers were identified as carriers of CP1 N/A; however, the number of carriers can change with each generation. As of March 2012, we have received 29 samples from North American NSDTR puppies with cleft palate, 18 of which had two mutant (CP1 A/A) copies of CP1.

If two carriers of CP1 are bred to each other, 25% of the puppies will likely have cleft palate caused by CP1. If a carrier is bred to a normal dog, then no CP1 puppies will be produced.

We recommend that breeders take into consideration the CP1 test results as they plan their breeding programs; however, they should not over-emphasize the test results. Instead, the test result should be one factor among many in a balanced breeding program.

Order DNA Test

Tests are ordered online through the secure area of the OFA website. Payment is accepted by credit card (MasterCard and VISA). The OFA administers all order handling. Upon receipt of an order, the OFA will send out the test kit which will include a Foam-Tipped Applicator card for DNA sample collection, along with sample collection instructions. Using the FTA card technology, owners can safely collect DNA samples at home. The collection process is non-invasive, and no veterinary appointment is necessary.

Samples are then sent to the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine where the samples will be processed by the Small Animal Molecular Genetics Lab. Results will be forwarded to the OFA, and the OFA will issue the resulting report to the owner.

The fee for each test includes the test kit, laboratory processing, and subsequent registration in the OFA databases.